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Whitsunday Islands

Photo of Whitsunday Islands

About Whitsunday Islands

There are 74 islands in the Whitsunday Group, sprinkled down the Queensland coast and surrounded by the calm, bright blue waters of the Coral Sea and the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Only seven of the islands in the group have accommodation options, ranging from camping on Hook Island to exclusive private island resorts. So don't be put off by the photos of perfect beaches and calm seas, the best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands come in every price bracket. Most of the Whitsunday Islands are designated national parks (69 of the 74 islands are entirely national park land) - both on and off shore, hence the small number which are inhabited. Hamilton is the most developed, and has its own airport, post office and bank, though most of the island is still free from development and there are some wonderful walking tracks criss crossing it.

What Not To Miss

  • Arlie Beach on the mainland is the gateway to the islands and the holiday town.
  • Whitsunday Island is home to Whitehaven Beach, famed for its pristine white silica sand, and some of the world's most perfect beaches. As well as the 7kms of Whitehaven, the island has numerous little coves, perfect for parking up your private yacht or charter boat.
  • Hook Island is mostly national park too, and is known for its wonderful snorkeling terrain.
  • You might also have heart of Heart Reef, a famous heart shaped reef off one of the outlying islands.
  • And there's Laguna and Proserpine on the mainland, Laguna for golf and Proserpine for fishing.

Those are just the headlines, though, everywhere you go you'll find tropical island lagoons packed with fish for watching or catching and marine life of all kinds, including around 400 different types of coral. The best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands are busy year round, so if you want to book one of these, plan well ahead!

For luxury

  • Qualia is a small, stylish resort, offering the ultimate beachside resort experience. As well as the perfect beach, luxury spa and numerous private pools, Qualia is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest - a proper island paradise.
  • One&Only Hayman Island is a private island resort about three miles by five in size and on the outer edge of the Whitsunday group, right on the reef. Rooms, suites, villas and penthouses are luxurious, each with a balcony looking out to sea.

For families

  • An oldie but a goody, the Daydream Island Resort and Spa is a large resort known for family relaxation. There's a choice of spas, pools and restaurants and plenty of opportunities to explore the reef or just relax on the beautiful, white, sandy beaches.
  • The Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas are a collection of luxurious, self contained villas, each with four ensuite bedrooms and kitchen and laundry facilities and all opening out onto the beach with views of the Whitsundays. You're also close to the Hamilton Island Marina.
  • The Palm Bay Resort is on Long Island, just off the mainland, and offers luxurious self catering accommodation in light, airy rooms with stunning views.

For an apartment or lodge

  • If you'd prefer your own space, then visit our online partner Booking.com for a variety of properties throughout the islands.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Brisbane Airport, the major international airport for the region located about 1100km (680 miles) from the Islands. Visitors are then able to take a domestic connecting flight to the Whitsundays.
  • Catch a train to the Whitsunday Islands with rail routes including Brisbane and Cairns.
  • If you plan to hire a car, for prices we recommend visiting our online partner Rentalcars
  • Best time to visit - whilst the Whitsunday Islands really are a year-round destination, April to June can provide visitors some of the nicest weather for an escape to paradise.

      Still not sure?

      Best Hotels in Whitsunday Islands

      • Qualia 60 rooms from $701

        Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands

        Explore the Great Barrier Reef from this stylish resort offering the ultimate private beachside experience. Breathtaking views, spa treatments, a fully stocked library and more - an island paradise.

        Swimming Pool  -  Private pools in some Pavilions
        Views  -  Each Pavilion has a searoom
        Restrictions on children  -  Must be 16 or over
        Back to Nature
        Recommended by  -  Tablet, Fodors, Mr & Mrs Smith
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      • Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas from $627

        Whitsunday Islands

        These luxury self-contained villas have breath-taking views towards the Whitsunday Islands. Each beachfront Villa comes with four ensuite bedrooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities. Close to Hamilton Island marina, they're the ideal set up for families and larger groups.

        Coastal
        Family Suites
        Swimming Pool  -  Waterfront lagoon pool surrounded by a tropical garden.
        Diving  -  Access to the Great Barrier Reef.
        Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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      • Palm Bay Resort from $189

        Whitsunday Islands

        With a mesmerising location on Long Island, at the heart of the Whistsunday Islands, this resort offers luxurious self-catering accommodation. Modern amenities, including a kitchen and laundry facilities, are complimented by the light and airy rooms with stunning views.

        On the beach  -  Private beachfront
        Barefoot Luxury  -  For total relaxation.
        Outstanding location
        Hideaway  -  Tranquil and intimate.
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      • Daydream Island Resort and Spa 296 rooms from $126

        Whitsunday Islands

        The very name of the island invites total relaxation, which is exactly what this resort offers. Deluxe suites, three outdoor spas and a choice of restaurants make this the ideal place to unwind after a day exploring the reef. Particularly geared up for families.

        Great walks  -  In the rainforest
        Views  -  Out to reef
        Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
        Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
        Recommended by  -  Fodors
        Check prices